Poor Porcupine longs for some physical affection. Won’t anyone give him a hug?
It’s especially tough for Porcupine, who lives in a forest full of creatures who love to give and receive hugs…just not with him. They talk behind his back about how he’s too prickly and grumpy, but who wouldn’t be without someone to show their love? Porcupine tries to hug himself, but even he gets prickled. Perhaps if he shook off his quills? Blunted them against a tree? Covered them with moss? Armadillo points out how silly Porcupine looks covered in moss but then suggests something the prickly mammal has never heard of: a kiss. “Mwah!” “Porcupine felt happy and warm and not the least bit grumpy.” But will the other forest animals take to kissing? With Armadillo’s help, Porcupine shows them what a kiss is, and a new ritual is born. And fittingly, the tale ends with Porcupine helping another outsider feel included. Waring’s illustrations appear to be digital and portray a forest of scratchily-furred animals with expressive faces.
Yep, a kiss is a mighty powerful thing to combat loneliness and exclusion. (Picture book. 3-7)